Thursday, June 22, 2017

Birthday boy Inzaghi beaming after Coppa derby joy

SoccerNews in Serie A 4 Apr 2017

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Simone Inzaghi is looking forward to “the best birthday of his life” on Wednesday after Lazio reached the Coppa Italia final with a 4-3 aggregate win over rivals Roma.

Lazio led 2-0 from the semi-final first leg and twice led in the return fixture, again through Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile, to give Roma a huge deficit to overturn.

The Giallorossi did hit back through Stephan El Shaarawy and Mohamed Salah’s brace, but could not prevent Lazio progressing to the final despite a 3-2 victory.

And Inzaghi was delighted with the result, praising both his players and their supporters as he looked forward to an enjoyable 41st birthday.

“I was very confident,” he told Rai Sport. “We know we’ve done something extraordinary, we gave a great joy to our fans. We seemed to play at home, we dedicate the victory to them.

“My guys were great – they have given me the best birthday of my life.”

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti apologised for the result, believing his side conceded the crucial first goal before they had set themselves.

“We’ll see if this affects the rest of the season,” he said. “We are sorry for the defeat, but we cannot change the past and we must be careful to prepare for the future.

“The team did pretty well in general, but, when you come to a round where you are two goals down, you must be good, ready and respond to what happens.

“We were not completely ready and the first time they attacked they scored.”

And Spalletti added that he preferred to focus on Roma’s upcoming league fixtures rather than discuss his future with the club.

“This is not the time to talk about it – my future is trying to get us the best position possible,” he added.

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